US president-elect Joe Biden should look to develop an “overall constructive relationship” with China following “quite a tumultuous ride” over the past four years, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) said in an interview.
A new framework between the nations would allow both countries “to develop the areas of common interest, and constrain the areas of disagreement” on issues such as trade, security, climate change, North Korea and non-proliferation, Lee said in an interview with Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait at the New Economy Forum.
Singapore’s leader also rejected any attempt to divide nations “Cold War-style.”
“We all want to work together with the US, we all want to work together with other vibrant economies, we would like to cooperate within the region,” said Lee, who has already offered his congratulations to Biden.
“I think not very many countries would like to join basically a coalition against those who have been excluded, chief of whom will be China,” he said.
Lee has been one of the most vocal global leaders calling for the world’s biggest economies to avoid a destructive clash that could force smaller countries like Singapore to choose sides on everything from trade and technology to COVID-19 vaccines and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
A city-state dependent on trade, Singapore supports a strong US presence in Asia by allowing the US to use its military facilities while also counting China as its top trading partner.
Lee said while Beijing does not want a “collision” with the US, Chinese officials might not be prepared to cede much ground.
At the same time, US President Donald Trump’s “America first” view of the world has changed perceptions both within the US and overseas about how broadly the world’s predominant superpower has an interest in maintaining global stability, he said.
“It will take some time I think for America to come back to such a position and for others to be convinced that it is taking such a position,” Lee said.
“It may never come back all the way, certainly in the short term and certainly in terms of its relations with China,” he added.
Citing the punitive tariffs Trump placed on China that were maintained in the “phase one” trade deal reached in January, Lee said it would be difficult for any successive US administration to take them away.
“There’s some elements in the administration who definitely did want to make moves which would be very difficult to reverse by the subsequent administration, and which will set the tone for the relationship for a long time to come,” Lee said.
Singapore was among countries that resisted US pressure to ban China’s Huawei Technologies Co from its 5G networks, with its regulator letting telecoms decide which vendors to choose. They ended up picking Huawei rivals Ericsson and Nokia to be their main 5G network providers.
“If I say I want absolute security, that’s not to be had in this world,” Lee said.
He also said that anti-China sentiment in the US has gained deep bipartisan support beyond Trump.
“The consensus to see China as a strategic threat is almost becoming received wisdom and unquestionable in the US,” Lee said. “And so it will be very difficult for any administration, whether it’s Biden or on the outside chance, Trump, to disregard that and just proceed as if the last few years had not taken place.”
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
Boeing set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2030, amid rising pressure on planemakers to take climate change seriously. Regulators allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels, and Boeing on Friday said it would work with authorities to raise the limit. Rival Airbus is considering another tack: a futuristic lineup of hydrogen-powered aircraft that would reach the skies by 2035. The aircraft manufacturers face growing public clamor to cut emissions in the aviation industry, which added more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2019, according to
Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh on Thursday resigned following a protest over a hospital’s treatment of a new mother who tested positive for COVID-19. Khurelsukh, whose Mongolian People’s Party holds a strong majority in the parliament known as the State Great Khural, stepped down after accusing Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga of the Democratic Party of orchestrating a political crisis. A small protest broke out in the capital, Ulan Bator, on Wednesday after TV footage appeared of a woman who had just given birth being escorted in slippers and a thin robe from the maternity ward to a special wing for COVID-19 patients